“Not satisfied with these local assaults on trees, the NSW government is moving to declare wholesale war on the entire state. It is intent on abolishing the Native Vegetation Act, passed by Parliament in 2003 to stop broadscale land clearing. It will be replaced by a so-called Biodiversity Conservation Act that will apply many of the current tree destruction tools in the government’s armoury to the city and the country.
“Offsets are the new mantra and the weak “major projects offsets policy” will become the rule. This states that if you can’t find a “like for like” offset (inevitable in urban areas), then almost anything else will do, including developer payments to a fund or rehabilitating a mine site (when this should be entirely the responsibility of the mine owner). It’s a sure recipe for the extinction of more endangered habitat. The Native Vegetation Act, which has saved hundreds of thousands of hectares from the bulldozer and chainsaw, had scientifically based rules about what should be protected (red lights) or offset with integrity. But no more under this new legislation – you can buy your way out.” www.smh.com.au
GR: Sydney’s governmental war on trees is not unusual. Road and transmission corridor builders often appear to have less respect for nature than other government agencies.